Kit #AA2117. 1/72 scale. This is a highly-detailed
resin kit of the Raytheon Sentinel R.1
complete with decals.
Sentinel is a battlefield and ground surveillance flying command post
operated by the Royal Air Force. The
airframe is based on Montreal-based Bombardier’s
Global Express ultra long-range business jet, adapted by Raytheon to the
RAF’s specifications. Originally, the
aircraft was known as ASTOR – Airborne Stand-Off
Radar – the plane flies with a mixed RAF and Royal Army crew. The Sentinel is designed to interface with
the USAF’s E-8 Joint STARS – Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar
System, based on a civilian Boeing
707-300 series airframe – as well as NATO ground surveillance systems.
The five Sentinel aircraft have been
operational since 2009, when they flew missions over Afghanistan. On a typical mission, they fly above 40,000
feet – that’s for radar resolution reasons, but it also takes them out of range
of most battlefield SAMs. Though slated
for stand-down after British forces leave Afghanistan, the plane has proved
itself “pivotal” over Libya and currently operates in support of NATO.